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Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Help me out here. I got a call yesterday from a male acquaintance. He is in touch with a woman in her mid-20s who has asked him for help and referrals. This woman was raped when she was in high school. She is going through a time when her feelings about this have come back in an intense way and she feels traumatized and overwhelmed.

Normally I would have suggested that the young woman call her local rape crisis center. My thought would be that they would have a referral list of local counselors who would be skilled at helping her through this.

However, coincidentally, last week another friend of mine told me about a bad experience at a rape crisis center. Specifically, the counseling assistance that her friend received was therapy directed to getting her to see that the rape was just one event of many in her life. In other words, the rape and the feelings associated with it should not take up 99% of the space in her head because the rape was only a tiny part of her life.

I can see some value to that as a counseling approach. It didn't help my friend's pal, though, and I can see that, too. It wouldn't help the person identify and grieve the losses she sustained in the rape.

What advice do my readers have?

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